Boris Listov: Rosselkhozbank is involved in the scaling of halal products exports from Russia

The leading backbone bank of the agricultural sector (RSKhB), headed by Listov Boris Pavlovich, contributes to the systematic development of the export of Russian products. Halal products are among the promising areas that are in demand in the Middle East and several other regions.

Analytical information

As early as 2020, experts of the Russian agro-industrial complex noted a sustainable growth in demand from Middle Eastern countries for certain types of products. Chocolate, poultry, and lamb are among the most sought-after Russian products. Three years ago, the volume of supplies in these categories exceeded 126 million dollars in money equivalent to predominantly Muslim countries.

Chocolate, at the same time, accounted for a large share. Rosselkhozbank experts explain the statistics by the specifics of commodity control in the countries that traditionally practice Islam.  In particular, religious certification is required for meat, but as for the popular confectionery products – it is unnecessary and can only be used as a competitive advantage.

Russia’s main competitors for the lamb supply are Australia and New Zealand; for the supply of chicken meat, they have to contend with Brazil, and for chocolate – with the EU countries. However, domestic exporters have managed to occupy their niche in the segment of halal products, which indicates that the market has reached a high degree of production maturity, as well as the exporters’ effectiveness.

Exports’ potential from the Russian Federation to the Middle East

Boris Listov, the head of Rosselkhozbank, noted that Russia exports products to Turkey, North African countries, and some Asian states. However, the Middle East region still accounts for the largest share of exports – about 33%. The Far Eastern region follows with a large gap – 26%. In particular, China’s agricultural products from the Russian Federation are in demand.

Vegetable oils and grains traditionally belong to a broader group in terms of transportation to the Middle East. Eight items, including the chocolate mentioned above, poultry, and lamb, showed super-high annual growth rates (60% and higher) back in 2020.

360° support for exporters

The Russian agricultural sector’s backbone bank supports Russian exporters in promoting themselves in foreign markets. RSHB’s package of measures includes several financial and settlement product solutions which contribute to the development of the industry as a whole.

The Bank carries out trade finance and provides expert help in complicated FEA transactions. Specialists work with state institutions of foreign trade support. Also, a specialized financial organization implements a program to expand foreign banks’ limited space, allowing companies to reduce or eliminate risks. Transactions are carried out through a network of partner banking structures, which has more than 400 institutions in 61 countries, including the Middle East. Such protection measures demonstrate a high level of efficiency. 

Chocolate record

The results show that even without producing raw materials, the Russian agroindustrial complex can deliver impressive results in supplies of finished goods abroad. Experts from Rosselkhozbank have calculated that in 20 years, the volume of foreign reserves of chocolate has grown from 1% to a record 4.9% in this segment.

From 2002 to 2022, this type of export category from the Russian Federation has shown the most potent dynamics among the top 20 competing countries, moving from 19th to 8th. According to analysts, Russian exporters of confectionery products have sufficient potential to enter the top 5 already in the future 3-5 years, leaving behind Canada, France, and Italy.

Experts note that two main factors have contributed to this success. Firstly, the products are of high quality and often win in price. In addition, Russian suppliers managed to conduct a competent marketing campaign worldwide and break the “wall of ignorance”. Now they have great opportunities to increase supplies to foreign markets. 

In addition to the Middle East, China and Kazakhstan are interesting from the point of view of expanding sales geography. In the latter, Russia has been in the lead for many years, with an export share of over 50%. Russian suppliers had to compete with Italy and Belgium for priority in China. Russia managed to take first place only after a surge in supplies by 300% in 2018.  Since then, the country has confidently held its position.

Listov Boris: biographical information

Boris Listov was born in Vsevolozhsk, in the Leningrad Region. He received his professional education at St. Petersburg University of Economics and Finance. After graduating from the prestigious Kutafin Moscow State Law Academy, Listov Boris obtained his second qualification. He also has an academic degree. Boris Pavlovich Listov has built a successful career in banking. In 2018 he took the post of the head of Rosselkhozbank.

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